The University of Maryland Eastern Shore will receive $1 million toward a scholarship program for Baltimore City Public School graduates through The Stephen and Renee Bisciotti Foundation.
Steve Bisciotti, the owner of the Baltimore Ravens, announced on Thursday he and his wife will make a $4 million donation to Maryland’s Historically Black College and Universities in the name of former general manager and long-time team executive Ozzie Newsome.
The donation will create the Ozzie Newsome Scholars Program, which will underwrite scholarships for 80 Baltimore City Public Schools’ graduates who pursue degrees at one of the state’s four public historically Black institutions through the remainder of this decade, according to a release.
“We are grateful to the Bisciottis for their generous donation in the name of ‘The Wizard of Oz’ Ozzie Newsome,” UMES President Heidi M. Anderson said in a release. “Our hope is the Newsome Scholars will take this wonderful gift they have been given and use it to make a better world.”
UMES officials will work with the Bisciotti Foundation and its partner, the CollegeBound Foundation, to identify five Baltimore City high school graduates who qualify for a Newsome scholarship at the university.
Each student who qualifies will receive $10,000 annually for up to five years.
The Bisciottis’ research showed the college-bound students they envision helping deserve assurance they’ll be able to graduate debt-free. As many as 20 Baltimore City high school graduates will be able to attend the Eastern Shore’s historically Black doctoral research institution under the Newsome Scholars Program.
UMES has been a popular higher education option for Baltimore natives, awarding 32 degrees to area graduates in May.
“The University of Maryland Eastern Shore enrolls an impressive number of students each year from the Baltimore area who are not only looking to continue their education, but also take a break from city-life,” Anderson said.
The donation honors Newsome who played football at the University of Alabama and his entire professional career with the Cleveland Browns. He is a member of the NFL Hall of Fame and has helped the Ravens to two Super Bowl victories during his time with the front office.
“I am humbled and honored that Steve and Renee Bisciotti chose to associate my name with this tremendously important scholarship,” Newsome said in a release. “This program will give many local graduates the ability to continue their education, and in turn, will equip them with the necessary tools to make meaningful impact in the Baltimore community and beyond.”
The Bisciotti Foundation will donate an additional $400,000 to the CollegeBound Foundation to fund the Newsome Scholars’ participation in the College Completion Program, bringing the Bisciotti Foundation’s total gift to $4.4 million, according the Baltimore Ravens.
“We embrace the responsibility of discovering ways to strengthen educational opportunities for the youth of Baltimore City,” Bisciotti said in a release.
“Any positive impact that can be made to help students — especially in the pursuit of a college education and their career goals — only strengthens our community as a whole. The Ozzie Newsome Scholars Program has the added benefit of providing scholarship funds for Maryland’s four HBCUs, which have served Maryland … so well for many years.”